Ep.93 Small Art, Big Details (Courtney -Miniature Painter)
12:58AM Apr 14, 2020
Good day everyone you're listening to talk your hobby. And this is Episode 93 small art but big details. I'm your host Alex and today I have the honor to have Courtney, as my guest on the show. How are you doing today?
I'm doing very well. Thank you for having me.
Well, thank you for being here. And thank you for coming on in such short notice. I just found you on Instagram. I'm like, wow, I love her energy. I love what she does. And I'm like, Hey, would you like to be a guest and like, Yeah, she didn't hesitate just like, Yeah, that's good. Have you been on a podcast before?
I Yes, I've been on a couple other podcasts. Paint, brush and dice and Another one that's going to come out that came out just on Saturday called rolling dice.
Okay, so you already have experience. Okay, so I have to be on my best behavior. Is that what you're saying?
You know what? I'll let you know.
Okay. Just in the middle as I'm talking, Alex, no, stop. Oh, yeah. Okay, But enough about me just rambling on today. It's all about Courtney. And before we jump into the topic, who is this magnificent person named Courtney?
Ah, well, I am from Alberta, Canada. I am 31 years old. I'm working from home mom. That discovered miniature painting and it kind of snowballed into this new passion new thing that I love. And now I'm starting a business with it. I've got I'm doing commissioned painting of among a whole bunch of social social media platforms. So it's been a ride, to say the least.
Okay, I know I'm gonna have to ask where people can find you. But first of all, shout out to my fellow Canadian. So I just got to do that. Yes, I'm from a Colder area, it's Ottawa where the politicians are colder than the winter.
Well, I'm from Alberta where the oil is frozen in the ground currently so.
So just everywhere. It's just frozen and cold. That's Canada for people who don't know Canada. But yes,
in a nutshell.
And so yes, Courtney, where can people find you? Whether it's your social media links, your websites or projects, anything? It doesn't necessarily need to be just related to your painting miniatures? It could be absolutely anything at all you want to share.
Yeah, so I'm on Instagram, and that's like my main hub. That's where I post the most. That's where I keep the most up to date content. Then I have my website with the same name, figuratively speaking minis. I'm also on Facebook, which I don't update as often as I probably should, but that's where I am to, and I don't do Twitter. I don't I have to say, That's not one of the ones that I do.
You know what I'm still trying to get the hang of it. But you know what, we can't do it. All you Pick whichever one works best for you. And that's perfect. I'll put that in the description so people can come follow support show some love fan. Yeah, and continuously show some love even long after this episode is out. This EPS is coming out in a few months. So I'll show some love once that comes out and then you have my support for sure.
Awesome. Thanks so much.
Now for the topic of today I'm sure we put people on hold long enough painting miniatures or miniature painting. Yes. So what is that exactly? For people who might not know what it is?
Well, okay, so this is like one of the greatest hobbies because it allows you to be creative in any way that you see fit. So painting miniatures is a variety of board games, tabletop RPGs, word gaming sculptures, busts, all of the above that are like a small scale being you know, like microscopic to to large scale which is something that could fit on your table in bold. Have your hands it just depends on what scale you're into. A lot of people paint miniatures for Dungeons and Dragons. A lot of people customized how they want their character to look on the table and physically move it across the table. So there's that part of the hobby. Then there's like board games like zombicide, or any kind of Star Wars game. What else there's lots of board games that I'm like blanking out on, but then you have you know, Warhammer and Wargaming and different things like that. And that is quite popular. That's where you do see a lot of miniature painting, because armies are quite large. So a lot of people paint Wargaming figures as well. So that's, yeah, that's kind of the the scope of the hobby and you know, people have developed such amazing skill and techniques in this hobby to nonmetallic metal is one of them to display their skills like that, like it's just that that's kind of it and another But it is so much more diverse than that. Like I'm just trying to touch upon every kind of aspect of it. There's competitions, especially these competitions are quite large in Europe. And I know there's a few big ones here as well in the United States. Not nothing that I've found in Canada yet working on it, though. But yeah, that's that's kind of it in a nutshell.
That's so awesome. Like I grew up doing miniatures as well. Oh, I wish I stuck with it. The glue must have just like, got me knocked out a few times. As a kid Warhammer I didn't understand like, I need a lot of glue to just put that on. And anyways, I can go into details about that later. But yes. How did you actually get introduced to painting miniatures?
Well, a friend of mine introduced me to them. So we were playing board games. And this friend of mine wanted to start playing gloom Haven and in gloom haven they have really beautiful character miniatures and he offered to Let me paint my miniature the of the character that I was playing And so my husband and I sat down when we started painting our characters. And I was kind of like, Hey, this is really fun. I'm really enjoying this. He's like, well, if you like that, here's another board game that you need, if you want to practice I was like, Yeah, sure. It was great. So he let me paint his descent journey into the dark. And that was a Yeah, another game that kind of snowballed this, this new passion of mine to keep going. And then another friend was like, Well, I have a board game that you can paint. So I painted massive darkness after I did descent journey into the dark. And then it kind of snowballed from there where I'm like, Hey, you know, I'm really enjoying this, but I don't really want to keep the figures. So if you guys could just let me paint your stuff. I'd be more than happy to,
I would imagine for you. It's more about the journey rather than the destination just like you painted. Alright, done. Give it away to somebody. That's that's pretty cool.
Yeah, absolutely. I love that.
And so I have to ask you love board games. I love board games as well. I have like 41 board games. So my question to you My question to you is, how many board games have you actually painted the miniatures for? And which ones were like, let's say the most interesting and you really enjoy because they're like, Oh, no, very detailed, or it was just perfect for painting.
Okay, let me think off the top of my head. The I, for the games that I've painted personally, for myself, I think I've only painted one, one set of stuffed fables, but in my career thus far, I've painted 123457 board games sets. Yeah, it's a lot. And in one of those sets, I was commissioned to paint it's called the others seven deadly sins. And that was 58 figures that I painted for that board game and it's expansions and that is, oh, yeah. And it is one of the coolest design of miniature figures I've painted thus far. It was just monsters that are so weird and creepy and like it's kind of horror ish. And it was just it's thrilled me I loved painting that set.
You got to walk me through how how do you like see like you see a miniature right there that's like unpainted or just a little bit paint. And you see it, how do you like, go through the process of picking the colors? You're like, boom, you already visualize everything or is it like, as you go, you figure it out?
That's a great question. Um, I tend to paint according to what the client wants usually. So if a client wants as close to the art, I try and get it as close to the art as possible. So usually, I do look at the artwork. I do look at what people have done before. And if it's like a Hey, Courtney, paint this however you want, I get really excited because I'm like, oh, heck yes. So I usually pick color schemes that match the color wheel. So complementary colors, and four different like organic Like monsters, I try and stick to more fleshy tones, more natural greens rather than bright greens, more colors that you would see in nature. Those are the colors that usually stick to especially for organic monsters. And is there a color for you that speaks to you like you use it I don't know if he'd say his subconscious like he continues to use it or he's just like your favorite color that you'd like to try to integrate here and there like a lot. That's that's a good question because I personally love green and brown and purple. Like those are my favorite colors. But painting miniatures, I love painting red and orange and like a like a like purples and deep colors like that. I feel like you can layer them better you get much more depth out of those colors, and they're just really rich colors to look at and they really make a miniature pop. So I love painting that even though my favorite colors are completely different. That's kind
of cool. Like it's out of your comfort zone like I I do that. I like these colors. But I know these colors look pretty cool as well. And yeah, I know I should have asked this at the beginning but you still own your first miniature that you painted
it technically it's not mine, but I do have it in my face. Finders keepers. So yes, I know I was like, well, maybe I should just keep that one and go buy him a different one.
Yeah, I lost it. Oh, no, I don't know.
Let's see. So I'm sure you pay more than just tabletop like not just tabletop I mean, like board game miniatures, what type of miniatures Do you do like painting because I've seen your Instagram you like Warhammer? Some d&d even bought a dinosaur from like the dollar store. So what's your paint?
My favorite thing to paint are monsters. I love bulbous, wiggly slimy monsters. Those are the most fun to paint like recently, I'm going to be entering a competition locally. And I picked a monster that's got all of these tentacles coming out of his head and he's kind of like a slug guy. He's got like, a long tongue and drool and little pustules and I just nothing makes me more happy than that.
I love that. And actually speaking speaking about the competition, are you more of the type that you do it really fast or you take your time to paint because I would imagine a competition maybe it's timed.
Yeah, well, this one we had a month to do. And I actually finished the miniature within the first three days of purchasing it. So I'm already done. I'm just waiting to enter it into the competition. I'm notoriously fast at painting even though I do try to go slow. So I guess that's a good thing and a bad thing. So if a person's like hey, I need this painted in two weeks I'm like heck yes, I can do it in three days. So that's that's why I don't charge by the hour or anything like that. I charge by figure cuz I'm like, if I charge by the hour, I would be done within a few hours. But ya know, I am notoriously fast and I do try to go slow and really take my time but I feel like I can achieve some really great results. with whatever technique I'm using, and it just turns out to be faster than some other people so
and you're also notoriously passionate. That's that's the that's the passion that comes into the miniature man. I would just lie I would just like to just be there just sit and watch you paint it sounds creepy saying that, but I just love that. It's
so much fun. I love like doing paint like going to painting social locally, local game stores. It's so cool getting together with people and then you're just like, look at what I just did. And they're like, Yeah, that looks awesome. I'm like, Yeah, I mean, sometimes I bug my husband without it. Like look at the eye candle that looks great honey. I'm like yes, but look at them. There's a pupil
stare deep into the soul of the miniature.
Actually. So how long does it usually take you to complete it like three hours on average or is or more
Um, so depends on the size. Like last last night, I started in or last yesterday I started and finished a troll that I wanted to do. So that troll took me approximately four to five hours.
Well, no breaks in between breaks.
Just sleeping while painting at the same time. That's
a skill. That's a skill.
Speaking about painting itself. Well, that's the topic of this episode. Have you ever messed up and if you have, what do you do to correct it?
Yes, I have messed up early early on in my painting journey. I did a like a flesh Golem. And this flesh Golem. The color didn't take the way I wanted it to take and it didn't go the way I wanted it to go. But I was too new and I didn't know how to strip the mini with paint strippers, essentially. And I ended up just lobbying on more paintings. And just trying to fix it and it just it looked like absolute garbage. Like it was just the worst. But that was one of the only times that I ever wanted to like throw money across a room. I have not stripped any miniatures that I have painted ever. I've stripped clients miniatures and repainted them for them that they had painted and they're like, this is a terrible job. I wanna I want someone to fix this. I'm like, Yeah, I can fix up. So I have done that. But I have not personally stripped any miniatures of my own. I feel like even if it's not 100% my best will just keep it but if it is for a client, I do try to fix it without stripping it.
Like I feel like you work away like work around it and make it work. When you said you painted over, like when the first I'm just like, Oh, just gonna paint it over it just remind me of story My dad told me. I know it's a little off topic, but back in college, he was part of a fraternity. And one day they did an experiment where they put a can of beans on a hot stove and the hidden behind a cardboard like box with slits to see and it just blew up and went all over the wall and ceiling Then they just left it and then it just dried up. And instead of cleaning it off, they just painted over the beans.
Oh, that's worse.
So that just reminded me of like, Oh, just gonna paint over it just Yeah,
yeah. And that's what it does. It turns into like a weird globby like crusty mess. Yeah,
yeah. But I'm sure yours looked a lot better than the being painted ceiling.
Well, I'm sure we could compare notes on that one in particular.
Now speaking about the actual process, what kind of tools you usually use?
Yeah, this is this is my whole shtick when it comes to painting is that anybody at any budget can paint miniatures. I think this hobby is accessible to everybody. So the way I you know, kind of promote that is I use cheap brushes. I use whatever I can find at Walmart. I use a set of Dungeons and Dragons set at my local hobby store at Michaels. I bought a couple of cheap brushes from them. And you know what Amazon is your friend, and fresh off Amazon, or the dollar store. And I feel like as long as the point stays pointy, you're good to go. I did treat myself to several expensive actual hair brushes, and I have found they're there, they're good. But you know, you can still accomplish what you want to accomplish with a cheaper set of brushes. So I use these cheap tools,
Money can't buy everything, like you don't have to buy the most expensive thing to make it practical,
right? I did a little rant on Instagram a few weeks ago. I'm like, does expensive brushes make you a great painter? No, it's a tool unless you know how to use that tool. It's not going to do much for you. So yeah, and you know what a lot of pros they use cheap brushes too. So it's it's it's fun to have the nice brushes and kind of be like ooh Agata Windsor Newton series, seven sable hair brush, but Like a big deal. What are you gonna? What are you gonna do with it? What are you going to do with it? That matters, right? Put
it on my shelf, just display it.
You know, it's funny. It's actually I did buy myself one of those brushes.
So that came in the mail a few weeks ago, and I have not opened it yet.
You're waiting for the right time to use it. It hasn't been a project as opposed to like, you know what? This is the brush. It's like the scalp?
Yes, that's right tools for the job.
Yes. And for you What is your preferred time of day to work on a new project? Are you more like a morning person? Then you feel inspired to do it in the morning or more like a late bird? Is that an expression? I don't know, late work or any type of late? Oh, yes. late. I will do it at night. Oh, no, no, no,
I don't know I kind of paint whenever I can. So sometimes I can paint in the morning. So I do that for a couple hours. I'm like, I'm like a noonish to evening painter for primary, primarily painting. But if I can get away with Doing some in the morning? I'll I'll give it a go.
And are you the type of person who's very adventurous when it comes to trying something new? Let's say have you tried a new technique? Or have you ever tried using glow in the dark paint or anything like that?
Oh, yes, I I see a lot of people, painters on Instagram that inspires me and one of the techniques is non metallic metal. And it is it is an extremely tough technique to nail and I recently started to be like, hey, if I want to be a better painter, if I want to keep improving myself, I need to start practicing this technique. So I begun lab ended last year in December I started to practice nonmetallic metal and let me tell you, it is not easy. And it's it's just it's so extremely frustrating and I am not a patient person, if you can believe it when I paint a miniature in like three hours. Okay, I'm just about done. It's great. So this technique takes a lot of time, but as a painter and as a, as just a person that wants to better themselves, slowing down and taking that time wasn't, was a big challenge for me. And that's how I know I'm going to grow as a painter if I sit down and continue to do those things. And that includes terrain pieces. So I love terrain, and there's so much I want to learn about it. So I've been watching tutorial after tutorial after tutorial on how to build something, how to make it waterproof how to work with resin, etc, etc. And just, I just think overall as as people we want to, we should keep improve, keep improving what we love and what we love about the hobby. And I think that's really important to grow. And just see what you can do just just keep pushing the envelope a little bit just to see what will happen because when it comes down to it, it's just paint, and it's just a miniature, and the worst thing that could happen is you screw up and then hey, buy some paint stripper and Start again. Or buy another cheap any and practice on that with with what you had just learned in bind. It's gonna help you grow so so so much and yeah, I'm definitely one of those people that are like, okay, let's grow in this area let's see what I can do.
That's awesome i love that passion of just, you know what I have nothing to lose and everything to gain and it's it's not like it's a danger to your life well maybe you might glue your fingers together but you know little I feel like anybody who's done like painting miniatures it's like an initiation You have to do it at least want to be considered alright it's official you painted a miniature you've got your fingers stuck together and then
you just rip them apart and you're like oh
and okay we have to tell we definitely have to talk about terrain building because that's part of it as well. What is your preferred type of terrain to create?
I don't have a preference because I do love it all. I really, really do. I just on that competition piece I had I mentioned I made a swampy, sticky gooey weed like undead bass and I love it and I think it looks so so good but like on my figure that I had 3d printed my house Moving Castle I did a beautiful rolling hill with flowers and fresh grass and and beautiful stones everywhere and all that kind of stuff. But I've also done lava bases where the lab was bubbling and you know you do your object source lighting for your miniature that's on top of it and it just looks so good and so vibrant. And what else Geez What else have I done? Oh, and I've done snow bases for a Griffin oh it's just so cool like to watch the well I personally really enjoy the chemical reaction between Thank you so I thought that was really fun. And and then just putting it on on that base. I i've been experimenting a lot with different bases because I just I love them all. And I think they're all so eyecatching in their own ways and There's a few bases I want to try in the future like, more like the post apocalypse post apocalyptic faces. I want to try one of those. I want to try like a dry desert. No, actually, I've done that. I did that. But ya know, like, there's so many different things and I absolutely love it. I love it.
No, I saw one of your videos where you're putting together a two phone pieces with toothpicks and I love like the creativity of that. And it got me thinking as well. Do you prefer using let's say artificial things to simulate, let's say rocks? Or do you actually use like real little rocks into your terrain?
If I can use natural pieces, like pebbles and branches and different things like that, then I will use them. They have to match kind of what what else is going on? Because if it does, distract your eye if the rock looks too natural, like a real rock, rather than fitting in with the paint scheme, so it's like you just got to be careful to match it properly. But yeah, like I I have stuck branches on bases. I've stuck natural pebbles. I've used dirt. I've used gravel. Yep. I've used all bunch of natural materials. Man. I
could just imagine you like walking out in public and you see something on the ground. You're like, I could use that. I could definitely use
Well, I know it's so funny. Like, I have I have a couple of kids. So I'm like, Hey, kids, go pick up those sticks that are great. Okay, Mama, like Yeah, he just put them in this little baby will take them home with us. They love it.
Do they actually speak English? Do your kids if you don't mind me asking do they help? Or have you taught them how to paint miniatures or bill terrains?
They've dabbled. When they're bored. They're like, Can we make a diorama? I'm like, Yes, you can. But let mommy help you. Like, yeah, so they have done a little bit of painting a little bit of terrain building. My daughter, she's painted a Hellcat. My son he's helped me paint some dual drones and some mono drones from Dungeons and Dragons. So yeah, they've done that. Build a bit and they really enjoy watching me so they'll come into my office and and see what I'm up to a bunch of times
and company so you have an office where you do all these creations How do you store the ones that you do keep?
Well because my collection is still quite small if it's on a very small shelf, so I'm really happy. So just a shelf. And then I keep some extra odds and ends in a bunch of dollar store storage containers to take two classes with me so that I can show people and they can touch them and things like that. But the ones that I do keep for myself I do keep on a shelf and that includes like one of the busts that I've done, and when a bunch of really nice figures from Titan forge that was sent to me. I those ones stay on a shelf.
Now for a really tough question. If you had to pick which one is your favorite miniature that you've created.
The one that is against them all.
Okay, it doesn't have to be mine or is it like One that I had to give away.
Oh, you know what, let's see what both so one that you have to give away in one that is yours.
Okay, so the one that I love that I kept was the a bust that I painted and I called it It came from the deep and it's a it's a bust of like a sea creature with glowing yellow eyes and it's got really neat texture on his skin and he's got a bunch of different colors, greens, purples and blues and I feel like I did a really really good job on him so he is one that I will not give away. If somebody was like, I'll pay 50 bucks for that I'd be like no one and then like a miniature that I love that I that I gave back to a client. Jeez, that one would be tough. They were so so so many good ones. Actually, I have I know which one. So I my brother he's very into Lord of the Rings and Games Workshop has a line of Lord of the Rings, miniatures, so I made him a diorama of building Baggins discovering the ring with smeagol in the back and build those sword sticking out. And I did like object source lighting. I did a water feature and everything like that. And so I made him a diorama. And I gave it to him and I'm really happy I gave it to him because I don't want it but like I love, love, love. Love that one. I was in debate about making a second one because I loved it so much.
So cool. If you don't mind me asking is water like one of the hardest things to try to simulate and create? Or is there something that you found that was a lot harder?
Oh, you know what water isn't too bad. It is fairly straightforward, especially with epoxy, you can't really screw it up unless you don't take off the edges properly and it kind of just splashes all over your counter. I actually just posted a YouTube video on modpodge dimensional magic is a product that I found that creates that water effect without being so deep and it gives you a longer working time than an epoxy. So you can kind of like move it around. It doesn't it takes like three hours to dry rather than five minutes. So I personally really like water there it is something I want to explore a little bit more because I've only done very small basis with water. I am going to be doing a large large terrain piece with a big pool of water so I'll let you know I'll let you know it's it's been it's a journey and and I'm experimenting I'm very excited about it.
Well you're presenting it so well and you're very inviting so I just I'm actually excited to see this when it comes out and oh man I it makes me wish I didn't stop doing it. And when I was younger she get
back into it. You got to get back into it.
I think the reason why I stopped is because the Warhammer store at the mall that I was getting all the stuff closed down. And I didn't know where to go get it and I was young so I didn't internet wasn't that I don't think you know no internet then didn't really use that back then.
So that's fair.
Yeah, but now they're all over the place. But anyways, this is not about me. Being the Star Trek about this, it's about you being passionate about it right now. What would you say is the best part about painting miniatures on a personal and emotional level?
The best part about painting miniatures for me is it's it's been truly an escape from daily stress. For me, it is one thing that you know, like, I've got a million things going on outside in my world, literally, like it's actually kind of crazy. But when you can sit down and only focus on one thing for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, a couple hours. It's so soothing to my body to be able to do that. And in a world where I literally have my phone in my hand, you know, you're doing i'm doing i'm doing everything. It's, it's nice to not have the phone in my hand. It's nice to pick up a paintbrush and focus on one thing, and it's brought me so much peace. It's brought me so much self Discovery, I guess I found out things about myself that I had forgotten. I used to paint like pictures when I was a child. I used to paint ceramics when I was a child in art class. And then I loved that. And I had lost that part of me for a really long time. And I discovered it again that that childlike wonder of how if I swirl this pink color together, I get this pink color and that looks really cool. Or, or when I run up to my husband, and I'm like, yeah, look at these eyes. Like I said, the sense of accomplishment. Like I forgot about that. And it's, it's so important to have something that really makes you truly happy and makes you feel like you've accomplished something great. And even though I know I'm not the best, and even though I know I've got so much room for improvement, it's it's been nothing but something that has brought me joy, and I truly appreciate the art for what it is. I appreciate the people that put out And years into practicing their their craft and and I just I love connecting to those people I love reaching out to them and contacting them and they are contacting me now and sharing the hobby with everybody who feels so similarly about the hobby is something quite extraordinary and I really love love love this hobby.
You know what if people are listening to this and are interested in picking up painting miniatures, I'm sure Courtney would be more than happy to talk to you she's very very friendly. she'll become your friend instantly right? Yeah, you like we're friends. So I said on every episode, I'm friends with every guests and they take it back. It's it's official, it's ingrained in recording. It's gonna be put on a final somewhere.
And I've said that on Instagram before I'm like, you know what, everybody is welcome in this hobby. Everybody is welcome to try it. Everyone's Welcome to to not you know, like as well if you just appreciate looking at it. That's it. That's another part of it too, if you just enjoy that part of it, but you know, I've had people reach out to me on Instagram, and be You know, I've never really started before How can I start? Well, let me tell you I send these long winded messages but yes no i i am more than happy to, to chat with anybody on any budget on how to start this hobby. And and I am more than happy to answer emails or messages. This is what I love. This is how I share what I love. And I think everybody should at least try it once.
So for you not you but the people listening Yeah, you guys listen to this podcast, pause the podcast, contact Courtney start paying miniatures and then finish listening to this podcast or you know what, dude at the same time Yeah. Speaking about listening and stuff, do you listen to music while you create?
i? No, not really. And people have like been like, Oh, do you listen to audiobooks and to be quite honest, like I said, it is kind of a brain break. For me it's a it's a time that I can stop focusing. So what I usually have in the background While I paint is like Zelda and chill, like video game music, so I put on Yeah, like soundtracks. Yeah, like Ori and the the what is that game called has a beautiful soundtrack or you in the magical forest or something like that zelda? What else do I listen to just like piano music or like cafe music anything that's not really distracting so I can focus on painting that's, that's when I can really like power through some hours of painting. I know exactly what you mean like when I studied, I did the same thing I listened to music that doesn't necessarily have any voices, but it's just a melody, and it's just soothing to listen to I have a bunch of vinyls in front of me. Were like right beside me right now. I'm looking at him like Yeah, I know. I listened to some of those. It's kind of hard to listen to music while editing a podcast, but I wish I could. But that's awesome. And another question I had was, do you name your creations? No, I don't. I thought I thought about it and don't get me right like I'm like But what I do instead is I give them a story.
Oh, that's cool
to help to help me kind of pick color schemes and different things like that. Like, for example, I have another competition piece that I'm submitting in a couple weeks. And this is a character from Warhammer. And I don't I don't personally know a lot about Warhammer 40 K, and this character is from Warhammer 40 K, and they're like, oh, how are you going to paint this figure? And I'm like, Well, I kind of gave this character story. I made it a girl. And the base that I did was very life in depth. And that's the characters are Harlequin. And so you have a lot of dual colors and different things like that. So I really told a story rather than give the miniature a name, about how this character has life and death. And I demonstrated that through my paint and through the base. And so yeah, that's kind of how I personalize my figures.
That's cool. I love how they Their bodies has a story and another random question that pops in my head I told you there's gonna be a bunch of random questions have you ever considered like a custom made miniature like a 3d printed miniatures that you like I want this this this and then you already have the idea how you want to paint it,
huh? No Actually I have not. I haven't come up with a miniature for myself that I'm like yeah I really want to have that. I think if I have anything on my shelf and no I can't really think of anything off the top of my head. But I know like I've been playing a few characters Oh, I've been playing a few characters in d&d and I might be making my own character I might be kit bashing a miniature because I can't find anything like it. So I might do that.
That's so cool. I see our friendship just got stronger because you played d&d. I played d&d. Do you play video games too?
Heck, yes. Well, let me clarify. I am a backseat gamer or friend style like I am like that. To my husband, Jeff, I'm like, Jeff, I would like you to play Devil May Cry five, please. And he's like, he sounds good. I will do that. And I'm like, Okay, thank you. And I and I sit and I watch, but the video games that I play are like Mario smash, bro. Oh my god. Yes. Yeah, I'd be like, those are my video games. But if I want to watch a cool video game, like, I'm also like, Hey, is anything on stage on sale on Steam like Red Dead Redemption, because I want you to play that one too. He's like, okay, y'all Look, I'm like, hey, sweet.
Okay, so if you have a switch, we'll have to connect because I play love Smash Bros, maybe around over $500 or so I got, you know.
I got steamed up anyways.
But this is how we're gonna solidify our friendship. But anyways, back to miniatures. I feel like we can just talk about everything today. What was your biggest challenge when you first started collecting or painting miniatures?
I think the biggest challenge was I saw people that were better than me. And I wanted to They're all ready. So I got upset because it the technique that I was practicing didn't look like the technique that I saw. And I was mad at myself for not being better. And that was a big challenge. And it's kind of a silly, it's kind of silly to think it's like, well, yeah, Courtney, of course, you're not going to be as good as those as those people who have been painting for 20 years. You've done it for a year, like get over yourself. But it's true. Like it's like, oh, man, I just, I wish it would look like that. And why doesn't it look like that? And why can't I paint eyes? And why does my fabric look like garbage? Like, Oh, it's so frustrating. But it's just it's just practice. It's just however many hours you you put into it. And now things like painting fabric and layering fabric it comes so easy that I don't even think about it anymore. And now I'm focused on more technical techniques like nonmetallic metal and different things like that, that, you know, those those little those little techniques or beginner techniques, I guess, kind of fall to the wayside. So, so it's like, well, if I would have told myself a year year ago, like yeah, like you'll get there, just relax, just keep practicing. So that's it. That was a bit of an initial challenge for me.
It's about making mistakes and you learn from those mistakes and I make a lot of mistakes on this podcast. My guests are always perfect. I'm the one who's always screwing up the questions so I'm still learning.
And so move on to the future or I mean the present more. What are your current biggest challenges?
I think my current biggest challenge is to well let me I'll give you an example because I don't know how much of a challenge it is but it's it's a mind challenge where I take on a commission and it gets overwhelming because I'm literally either painting the same color scheme over and over and over and over again. People on Instagram have heard me rant about this I'm like, I freakin hate plate metal. I hate plate metal and I never want to pay but that's what that's what you do like you know if there's a set of miniatures and all of them have played male you have to do that like you took on the commission. You paint You finish it, you finish what you started. And I think it's that's probably the biggest challenges, you know, overcoming those mind mind issues challenges. Yeah, like just how to self talk and not get burnt out by what I've taken on by saying like, Yes, I'll paint that for you. You know it's it's teach a painter burnout is a real thing. It definitely definitely is. And it's happened to me more than once and recently on it on my last commission, where I was painting way too much armor and I got mad at it and it's kind of ridiculous, but yeah, yeah, that's that's the biggest challenge right now.
Are you did you break the armor? You're like, just pure strike.
I was like, Oh, come on. So I had to I had to do a couple personal projects to kind of just give my mind a rest of it was it was a set of Dark Souls, which is a tabletop RPG based on the video game, and it's all dark and dingy. In brown and plate male, and this is the same color over and over and over again. So I'm like, I need to paint a beast, a slug beast of some kind to like help my brain function. So that's why I made like the most colorful slug monster ever saw that? Yeah. Okay, that makes me happy.
Actually, this is the perfect segue for this question. You kind of already answered it, but has painting miniatures ever stressed you out? But let's go I'm sure it has, because you already said that. But into more details. What do you do to relax? So you say you switch project but you also let's say walk away, take a walk or you know, do something else. What's your de stressor?
My de stressor, my go to de stressor, especially when I was doing the Dark Souls was I had to leave it for a date. I said, I'm not going to paint today, just for a day. Like because I like I do paint every single day. There's not really a day that goes by that I don't. And I really was like, I'm not going to paint today. And I was like, Let's go play video games.
Like let's go.
I was so I started breathless. Wild again because I'm like, this is the only thing that's going to help me de stress right now. So that's what I did. I play video games, I read a book. And I and I specifically say I'm not painting today and I just give it a day and then the next day I'm like, Okay, I'll sit down for an hour start up again. And then that's how we kind of go through that is right, that rep feeling that frustration that challenging time when you just don't feel like painting.
Give yourself a day
and it's important to do balance. So you know, you can continuously like, I wish I could continuously do a podcast but eventually you're gonna get tired so it's always good to take a break. Step back. A little bit of Smash Bros, you know, just a little bit
Hopefully, if you ever stressed you know, like fight a character named Alex and like, oh, Alex, I hate you. I'm gonna smash your face or even name one of your miniatures Alex.
Alex would farmer
so on a darker Side Pun intended for Dark Souls. What are some misconceptions about people who paint miniatures?
Ooh, that's a good question.
You know, I feel like a lot of people have the misconception that people who paint miniatures, especially in the Wargaming community are kind of like antisocial girls can't be a part of the hobby type, dude. And that's not true. In my experience, every painter that I've ever met has been nothing but so respectful of me encouraging of me encouraging of women in the hobby. They are so inviting. They want you to be there, they want you to paint and they want you to learn and they want to talk about it with you. And I've had, you know, gone to those game workshop stores. And of course, there's the joke of like, oh, there's nothing but dudes in their home. And they Yeah, it's true. There. There's not a lot of women in this hobby playing war games. There's, I think more women who paint, but don't play. And I think you know what, that that narrative is changing slowly. But it is changing. And I think that is a misconception that, you know, there's lots of guys that don't want women in the hobby. And I don't think that's true. I think, you know, I think the Wargaming community, the miniature painting community, they want anybody and everybody who wants to be there to be there. So I think it's, you know, a lot more inclusive
than I think people realize.
That's awesome. And I bet you it's always the people who don't know much about it that make those comments like, I don't know much miniature but women shouldn't be in it. Why? I don't know. But yeah, grunt are.
Exactly. You know, I've had people locally to me, they're like, what do you want to come watch a game so you can learn how to play? I'm like, Yeah, when I find the time I will be there like, absolutely. And they're like, great. We'll come to this location. We're going to work gonna do a game night that night and you know, like, it's just been wonderful. And I've met so many really nice people in this in this hobby and in this gaming. It's not not just Wargaming, board games, d&d, all of it. every avenue that I've painted something for someone has introduced me to a whole other world that's been nothing but accommodating and inclusive towards me. I love it. And I'm sure you
so I'm going to anime north in Toronto, and I always love that convention I've gone for is gonna be my third year. And you always meet so many passionate, interesting people. There's some miniature painting, there's giant scale, like Pokemon, they're like, like seven feet tall, that are painted. It's just a bunch of things. And I love the community. And I love how the stigma and the stereotypes and misconceptions are just changing nowadays, and it's just more accepted and more people can do it from doesn't matter. sex, age, religious view, political view is just open to anybody and everybody if you're Korean If you're passionate you want to do it. Go ahead and do it. I sound like a, like an announcement saying Yes,
yeah, no, but it's true. It's so true. And it's like, you know what? We've got kids, we've got old people like doing, like older people, not all people. But like, you know what, there's such a variety and it's so inspiring because you know, what a 12 year old kid could be way better than me. I could even learn something from that kid. So like, why not? Why Why wouldn't I want to be a part of that or be like cordial to like a 12 year old or, or you know, like an older woman? Oh, gosh, there's this such a talented lady on Instagram. And I'm like, you're amazing and I need to learn from you. And I think it's just you know, what if you want to be here, if you want to be a part of it, then you know what, there's a bunch of people that want you to be here too. What has
painting miniatures taught you in life?
No, seriously, like glue takes forever to dry. But no, like it's really taught me that you know, slow down and really reflect on what I want to accomplish reflect on what techniques I want to learn how to educate myself, you know, like it like and not just, like educate myself, be mindful of you know the amount of hours that a technique is going to have to be you know, learned and like all the hours that you're going to have to put into it be mindful of that. And and if you if you are okay with putting in the hours, then go for it. If you're not, then you're not going to get the result that you want. So it's, it's taught me patience, lots of lots of patience and perseverance when it doesn't go right the first time, the second time, the third time, the 10th time. Keep trying it or figure out a different way to do it. If that way is not working. If that person on YouTube did there's a certain way and you're trying to do it the way that they did it and it's not working for you can try somebody else. So you know, yeah, so patience, perseverance. Yeah, yeah, that's about it.
And yeah, you're absolutely right. There's an infinite infinite amount of ways to create something and if it doesn't work for you just try a different way. You're absolutely right. See, I'm doing this podcast I can have a conversation with a bunch of different people. It's not just so this is Alex, this is the podcast, I'm trying different ways having a different conversation. Everywhere works so far.
Yeah. And like
you're gonna meet different people that have different perspectives and it's respecting that perspective and other people's opinions. That's that's another thing too is, is people have different viewpoint than you and to respect that and to give it a shot is also worth your time as well and being respectful of them and their opinions as well as just you know, another
another part of it too. I think there's always two sides of a story. Everything has beauty. It just learned to just be an open book when it comes to creative things like podcasts, everything miniatures.
Yes, be a sponge. Yes,
but that would not be a good thing for paint would you want to be a sponge for paints
Unless, unless you're sponges in a wet palette, then you want that. Good, good. It's gonna say here.
And so you kind of touched this already. But do you see if you had to give one big piece of solid solid advice? What would it be?
Just try it.
When it comes down to it, just pick up a brush, just pick up whatever paint you can find whatever miniature it doesn't even have to be a real miniature can be green army men, for goodness sake. It doesn't have to be expensive. All you have to do is try see if you like it, see if you'll love it. And just give yourself the opportunity to try and practice.
That's true. You got nothing to lose everything to gain.
Absolutely Exactly. You really have nothing to lose. It is just plastic. It is just paint and you might discover something about yourself and isn't that what we all are trying to do anyways, so why not?
Try it? Ah
man, I want to get back into it now. See what you're doing. Look what you've done.
I will take full credit reinstating your painting practices. Just staple that on
my forehead. This is because of Courtney. This is done.
Perfect. I love it.
No, I've asked this question at the beginning of the episode, but I'll ask it again at the end. Do you have any social media links, websites or projects or anything at all that you love to share so people can come support you and see your work or just be there?
like I said, my biggest platform is Instagram right now under figuratively speaking minis. I am also on Facebook at figuratively speaking minis I have a website with the same name. I also I teach classes locally here in my hometown, so if you want to shoot me a message about that, please do. But yeah, that's that's basically those are my basic platforms. Those are what I update the most. And yeah, Instagram is where you can find me daily.
And that's where I found her. So perfect. I'll put that in the description below so people can go check it out. show some love, support. Port follow like tweets I everything that social media does these days. Do it. Yeah. And for the last question, do you have any questions for me about painting miniatures?
Which one are you going to paint next? Because now you got you like you got to paint. So you gotta, you got to pick up a paintbrush.
Well, the good thing is that I play d&d with my friends. And my best friend is actually the dungeon master. And he's also he's actually starting to paint a lot of miniatures. So once he moves into his new place, which is gonna be close to my place, I'm gonna just like see how he does it and try out one time and because he just picked it out of out of the blue and I like, oh, cool, and since I've done it in the past, well, you know what? I do enjoy painting. I'm not the best. Like you said, it doesn't you don't need to be the best. You just have to have like the drive to do it. And yeah, that's gonna be my best chance to paint a miniature
good because you know what, just bring a case of beer over, go pick up some go pick up some cheap paint from Michael's just go on over with your case of beer, your cheap paint. You see down and paint one Mini. I challenge you, I challenge you, and then you post it and then I'll post it on Instagram.
Oh man, just make sure not to mistake the beer for paint and vice versa.
Oh yeah. Don't take your paintbrush on the beer. No, no, no, no, no.
Don't drink the paint.
Don't drink the paint water. Don't do that either. Oh, I have done that. Oh, no, no, yeah.
But on purpose or by accident by
like a mug of coffee or something or like a glass of water. And then I always accidentally did my paintbrush in one of those ridges eventually.
And it just happened to be around the same shape. Right?
It really is.
So yeah, there you have it. Another body with a hobby. Thank you so much, Courtney for coming on and just nerding out with me. I loved it. It just oh, I just it's a good feeling. It just
is. It's so much fun.
So yeah, if you guys would love to learn more about Courtney go check her out on Instagram and all the other links I'll put below so you guys can show some support. And if you'd like to be on this podcast, Have any questions at all, you could send me an email at time for your firstname.lastname@example.org. And of course, if you like this podcast and want to show some support, you know, leave a review. It could be good or bad. I accept anything because the world is full of good and bad reviews and anything helps. And of course, I'm selling some merchandise on redbubble The link will be below it's about, you know, my time for your hobby logo, which most people won't need. But if you want it Hey, is there you can have it on T shirts, coffee mugs, a canvas o'clock. I think the clock might be the most appropriate thing for time for your hobby. But you know what? Yeah, those are things you can get. And so thank you once again, Courtney.
Thank you. I thank you so much for having me on here in a chance to just kind of shout out about what I love
You're the reason why I do these kind of things.
People like you. Thank you so much.
So Until the next episode, make some time for your hobby. Take care.